The sad thing is, when those kids grow up and look back, the kids whose parents beat them out of control are more likely to clearly say "parent, that was wrong, you hurt me." The kid whose parents administered "controlled" beatings, will always be conflicted about who takes the blame...
I just had to quote that statement, Odrade, it is so true.
Personally, I was spanked for not sitting still at the meetings, from the time I was six months old. By the time I was 3 or 4, I hardly ever got spanked, because I was in such utter submission to my parents, I couldn't even imagine doing anything that would displease them.
Everyone congratulated my parents on having such well-behaved children, and of course my father told everyone that early spankings were the key. I am glad to say, I talked to him about it a few months ago, and he admitted he might have been wrong, and apologized.
I understand that sometimes you may have to pop a toddler on the butt to get their attention; and I don't necessarily think that a parent who uses spanking as a last resort punishment is automatically a bad parent. But in our society, where corporal punishment is illegal even for adult criminals, I don't understand how anyone can justify it for children.